Why SEO Isn’t Dead

Why SEO Isnt Dead

Search engine optimization has been an element of online marketing for nearly two decades since its earliest beginnings in the mid 90s. The technique has changed significantly over time but it has never completely lost its relevance. Even though some in the marketing world may believe that SEO is dead, it has simply evolved.

In a sense, the old way of doing SEO is over because so much about search engine optimization has changed. The earlier formula of simply optimizing H1s and meta tags is not enough to increase search rank. Now there is no one formula for getting results from SEO; instead there are different approaches that work differently for every business.

There have never been any guarantees that certain SEO practices will work immediately to increase search rank. If someone is unable to get results from traditional SEO then they might write it off as ineffective and assume that SEO is dead. The reality is that SEO works but you simply have to evolve with it as it continues to change.

How SEO has Changed

While in the past certain tweaks such as adding keywords to title tags may have worked to increase rank, there is now a lot more to consider. When Google Panda was released, it caused SEO to change significantly. The emphasis now is on creating a high quality experience for users through great content instead of “spammy” content for the sake of SEO.

Even though content needs to focus more on a positive user experience, that content still needs to be optimized and that is where SEO still maintains its relevance. SEO keywords can still be used effectively within the right content to get better results. Content needs to be seen by the largest possible audience and SEO can play a major role in helping that happen.

Old practices like title tag keywords have actually been found recently be much less effective than previously thought. A study discovered that the correlation between a keywords in a title tag and the ranking of that keyword was actually very minimal. Since Google has gotten better at understanding the context of a page keyword targeting doesn’t need to be nearly as explicit as it was in the past.

Now businesses working with SEO often benefit from more longer form content because it naturally includes terms that describe the topic and will be noted by Google. These terms that are related to the topic are now known as entities and are just as important as keywords once were in SEO. Businesses can now go beyond traditional keyword research into entity research to find more terms to be included in content.

Social Media and SEO

More businesses are focusing their marketing strategies on social media as it continues to expand its influence through different sites like Facebook and Instagram. SEO can helpful for social media marketing by boosting the rank of links to social media pages and ensuring that users will be led to those pages. People also use social media channels to search for things and search engine optimization can be useful in affecting these types of searches.

One thing to remember about SEO is that optimizing content can take on many different forms and does not have to follow what is traditionally thought of as SEO. Every business will still need to take efforts to ensure that their high quality content is seen by an audience online.

As SEO continues to evolve and change, people will always use it differently to reach the ultimate goal of boosting traffic. As long as people are able to get these results in new ways, SEO will continue to live on as a viable choice for marketing.

5 Ways to Incorporate Off-Page SEO

5 Ways to Incorporate Off-Page SEO

When people develop an SEO strategy they usually focus all their energy toward on page tactics within their own website to increase search rank. Creating content for the site, optimizing the speed, internal linking and all the other ways we make our website more search friendly is considered on-page SEO. However, off-page SEO can be equally useful in increasing your site’s search engine rank.

Off-page SEO is any kind of technique beyond website design that promotes your site and helps make you more visible online. Here are 5 off-page SEO strategies that can be helpful to incorporate into your overall SEO plan.

  1. Link Building

Probably one of the most popular off-page SEO strategies is link building because it is one of the most effective tools to increase search rank. By building more external links to your website you can increase your page’s relevance and start to bypass your competition. If someone else links to your website it tells search engines that you offer useful information and your page qualifies as an authority.

Link building has to be accomplished legitimately because if you try to trick search engines with artificial links to your site you could be penalized and your rank will suffer. You should make an effort to build natural links by publishing interesting and useful content that other sites will be more likely to reference by linking to you. You can always boost your links by contacting other people or sites that might find your content relevant and ask them to link to you.

  1. Social Media Presence and Marketing

While your main concern is always the ranking of your company web page, you can help manage your online reputation and build traffic to your main page through social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It is more important than ever to have a strong presence on social media because it helps people learn more about your brand and interact with you directly.

Having a good social media presence means being as responsive as possible to people and engaging with them as much as you can. You can answer people’s questions and get them involved so that they become loyal customers and spread the word about your company. You should try to be proactive on social media and post interesting content on a regular basis so that you generate more engagement all the time.

  1. Forums and Discussion Boards

Getting involved in forums that are related to your site’s niche can help create more interest and discussion about your brand. Find the right forums online and get involved within the community by replying to threads, answering people’s questions and offering useful advice. This will all help build up your reputation as an expert within your company’s niche.

Make sure to also use “Do-Follow” forums so you can include a link to your site within your signature and help to boost your backlinks. You can get more quality links to your site while getting engaged on discussion boards so that people know more about your company. If you are regularly active on a few discussion boards you will start to see more traffic on your site.

  1. Blogging and Social Bookmarking

If you already have a blog on your site it is important to make sure it is always updated with new and varied types of content including video, photos and articles. You can start to promote your blog by submitting it to blog directories that are related to your niche as well as to blog search engines. You can post comments on other blogs and include your link in the comment section so that people will check out your blog as well.

You can submit your content to bookmarking sites like reddit, stumbleupon, scoop.it and delicious to help promote your blog. The content on these sites is updated very frequently which is great for ranking on search engines. If you use social bookmarking carefully and handle the tags properly you can greatly increase traffic to your site.

  1. Local Listings and Reviews

If you are a local business within a certain niche you might benefit from listing your company in local directories. Using local listings is a way to avoid facing huge competition and instead narrowing it down to your city or area. If you list your site locally search engines can easily view your website and crawl the content.

You can reach a more targeted audience by submitting to sites like Google Maps and Yelp which will show customers where you are located and include a brief introduction to your business. Your website will show up when people search for your niche in your local area. You can also encourage people to review you on yelp which will give you more validity in the eyes of search engines

7 SEO Strategies To Get Your Site Found

7 SEO Strategies To Get Your Site Found
If you are trying to improve your website’s search results then you might consider looking into the types of SEO tools that can change your rank more quickly and effectively. While one of the main focuses of SEO is using certain keywords to your advantage, there are also other factors that can affect your rank. Familiarizing yourself with all of the strategies that get the best results will help you use SEO more efficiently.

1. Use High Quality Content
When users spend more time on your website it tends to increase your search rank. You can get users to stay longer by providing them with useful content that they will want to read through in its entirety. Longer content that is full of relevant information tends to improve search rank the most because it has more value to the user and more keywords overall.

Your SEO strategy overall will be more effective if you make an effort to create well-written content that attracts users because it provides them with answers to their questions.

2. Do Keyword Research
Your content needs to have plenty of keywords but you have to make sure that you are using the right ones. It is always beneficial to research which keywords are likely to drive the most traffic and will be the least competitive in your industry.

Using the most effective keywords and placing them strategically in high quality content is what tends to create the best results. You will need to research what types of keywords tend to work well in your industry and focus on long tail keywords with more specific descriptions of what the customer is looking for. There are plenty of keyword research tools available that can help you discover the right terms to use.

3. Focus on Backlinks
Aside from the links in your own content, you can also look for ways to get other people to link to you. Powerful backlinks can work to quickly increase your search rank because it generates more quality links to your site.

You can create more backlinks by contacting popular blogs in your niche or submitting press releases about another company. Recommending your content to influencers and people interested in your industry will help you develop more backlinks and get better SEO results.

4. Optimize for Mobile
Search rankings can suffer if you do not have your site properly optimized for use on a smartphone or other mobile device. Although it may not have had a significant impact on your ranking several years ago, now it is crucial to have a mobile-ready website.

You need to make sure that your site is designed to account for different screen sizes and will load quickly and work efficiently on a smartphone. You can also get a higher ranking on Google if you apply SEO to your app if you currently have one.

5. Improve Readability and Design
Your website will tend to rank better and get more active users if it is easy to read and designed well enough so that users can quickly navigate through to find what they want. Your text needs to be easy to read and understand so that users don’t lose interest and click away from your site.

You need to review the type of font, the size of the type and the line height and length to make sure that users can quickly read through content. Sans-serif fonts are much easier to read onscreen such as Arial and Helvetica and the size should be big enough to read but not so big that it takes up too much space, usually around 16 pixels is best.

6. Incorporate Social Media
Sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are becoming more important than ever in terms of promoting and getting more recognition for your brand. You will tend to get more interaction on these sites if you apply some SEO strategies to incorporate social media platforms and increase their search rank.

It is important for your main website to show up first in search results but following closely behind in rank should be your Facebook and other sites that are updated and full of engaging content. Users will then have the option of clicking either on your website or your social media sites to have a sense of your brand and what you can offer them.

7. Benefit from Product Images
While content filled with useful information may be the number one focus of SEO, you can also consider how your images rank online. Users who are searching for products may not only look at the main search engine, they might also review image results. As long as you include quality images of your products on your site with relevant keywords you can have images that rank well in the results.
Users will be more likely to click on an image which will lead them to find your store and ultimately drive up more traffic.

5 Easy Ways To Keep Visitors On Your Website for Longer

Decrease bounce rate and increase time spent on site. These two factors are highly sought after and can always be optimized to be even better. Here are 5 ways you can improve your website and capture a visitor’s attention for longer:

eyes-on-prize

1) Program a Contact Form to Pop Up Before They Leave – Are visitors bouncing quickly and not staying as long as you’d like? You can see the average time spent on an important page, like your home page, before bouncing. By using a third party contact form service, like nGage, you can program it so that the form will pop up and gently remind and encourage users to make contact before leaving. It’s all about taking crucial action within the right amount of time.

2) Use Relevant Content and Striking Visuals That Match – The images on your website can be stunning but without colorful language and the right words, it’s not useful for search engines or users. While we all can appreciate a beautiful website, it doesn’t mean much if there is no depth to the site. On the other hand, you can have the best content in the world but when paired with bad or drab design, doesn’t help your cause. Keep visitors interested by being personable and asking and answering questions they can relate to. Don’t forget to address user intent.

3) Showcase Helpful User Generated Content – We talk about UGC all the time and for a good cause. It’s possible to showcase reviews and testimonials while being trustworthy. You can cite the source of the review, ask a customer to do a video testimonial or even display a hand-written thank you note. These are all special and unique ways to show visitors that you do care and have happy customers to thank for your business’ success.

4) Improve Site Speed and Load Time – This is perhaps one of the most important factors to address. Especially when dealing with high load times and high bounce rates. A study last year found that the average website speed load time was 7.25 seconds. What are we dealing with? Dial-up load speeds? Unfortunately… not. Many websites have difficulty with bigger images and more complex web pages, which adds up. For each second longer your website takes to load, you could be losing a great deal of customers. Simply, because they don’t want to wait for your site to load. And why should they? There’s a lot of competition out there. Compressing images, cleaning up bulky code will help speed up your site and keep visitors interested for much longer.

5) Choose Links Wisely – Choosing links for a home page can be a difficult test. You want to put everything that’s most important linked from the home page. But you also want visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly. There has to be a balance between being SEO friendly and optimizing for user experience. The struggle is between aesthetics and utility but you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. It’s an issue of organization and making sure visitors can get to what they want in a reasonable amount of clicks (about 3). Luckily, you can always create different versions and split test on real-life users at a reasonable cost. This is an option that’s easy to implement and will help you get real feedback from people who aren’t biased by seeing your website every day!

Getting visitors to your website is quite an uphill battle, so once you’re at the top, you don’t want to lose them. Keep these tips in mind for increasing new visitor time on site and let us know if you have any other tips or suggestions!

Going From Google Mail To Google Author

Sign into your Gmail. In the upper right hand corner you will see your Google profile picture. Click it. Then click view profile.

Google Author Tutorial

That will take you into your Google+ profile. Click the About section at the top. Then scroll down to the section labeled Links and hit Edit. It will be listed just under the Contributor To section.

Google Authorship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Contributor To section hit ‘Add Custom Link’. Label: Your Blog Link: http://www.yourblog.com. Then click Save.

Google Plus Contributor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you are back at your Google+ profile window. Copy your Google+ URL.

Google+ Profile URL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now in your blog post link your name to your Google+ page. Make sure to include ?rel=author at the end of the link instead. So in my case the text ‘Blog post by: Sean Green’ is linked to the URL https://plus.google.com/u/0/101106610066450005756?rel=author Your URL obviously will be slightly different because your Google+ page will have a different number.

Linking To Your Google Profile Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, but how do I know if it’s working? Good question, go to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Enter in the URL of your blog post.

Google Structured Data Tool

 

 

Bad Web Design Pet Peeves

Outdated. Cluttered. Intrusive. Tacky. Hard-to-read. Confusing. Questionable. Unreliable.

These are all words that could be used to describe a bad web design. While effective design is based on different factors that are “objectionable”, there are some fundamental things to consider before creating your masterpiece.

Here are some of my top pet peeves when it comes to bad seo web design:

Auto-play anything: Auto-play videos suck. Auto-play music is annoying. The worst offenders are sites that have a little person that walks out onto your screen and starts talking! I’m not sure who started this trend, but it’s 2012 and it should die already. A small but prominent call to action box is necessary sometimes, but this is just too much. (I’ve seen my fair share working on different websites, but what do you as a consumer think? Are these ever really helpful?)

Long, ugly contact forms: When a customer wants to contact you, they want to fill out as little important information as possible and hear back from you as soon as possible. Requiring a lot of personal information is aesthetically unappealing and can make potential customers question your ulterior motives. For example, are you giving away something for free in exchange for some contact information? Or are you asking potential customers to leave their information behind to be contacted. Either way, requiring too much info will kill your design and make your business seem not as trustworthy (all dependent on your industry, of course). Remember, this is an online contact form… not a tax return!

No clear call to action: Umm… where am I supposed to click and what am I supposed to do? Your home page and important landing pages should have an easy to find call to action. Contact, newsletter signups, click to call, buy now, download now – these are all easy to follow call to actions that your website needs in order to be useful. Don’t go overboard by displaying too many at the same time. Your customers don’t want clutter and too many CTA buttons can make your site look spammy.

Unconventional design that doesn’t make sense: Nowadays, every small business wants their site too look unique and capture the attention of their visitors. But going too abstract can make you lose site of basic website structure that is necessary for any website. I’m talking about: not having a home button, no contact information available, utilizing too much white space, using contrasting background and text colors. There are basic practices when it comes to effective web design and they exist for a reason!

Having a creative and effective website design doesn’t mean that you have to confine yourself inside a box but there are some things that you have to keep your eye on. Any design annoyances that you care to share?

Optimization for a Lower Bounce Rate

bounce rate How high is your website’s bounce rate? Obviously, a lower bounce rate is desirable. But depending on your industry, the “norm” can greatly vary.

If you take a look inside your Google Analytics account, it’s important to remember to look not only at the OVERALL bounce rate, but the bounce rate of individual landing pages. This applies whether you’re reorganizing your website or setting up new pay per click landing pages. Let’s say that your overall average is around 40%, but if you take a look at your home page, you find that the bounce rate is 80%! This means that 80% of customers aren’t finding what they need and leaving very quickly.

As a starting point, here are a few things you can look at:

Page load time: Let’s face it, who likes sitting around waiting for a page to load? If your site is slow, you can make it more effective by optimizing photos, your layout and cutting down on unnecessary content.
Design – Do you have a search engine friendly web design? Sometimes, a more complex design might sound appealing to make your site stand out while squeezing in all the information you want customers to find. But this won’t help your website unless it’s something that your customers are responding to, and not what you’re personally partial to! Take a step back and do some testing between some more simpler designs to find out for sure.
Relevancy – Here’s one more reason not to use broad keyword terms all over your website. Although you may want to rank for a variety of different keywords, your customers will want to find exactly what they’re looking for. If a certain keyword brings them to your site and they find that it’s irrelevant, your site is not useful. The last thing you want to do is to mislead potential customers. The best solution is to optimize per page/section and use specific keywords that describe exactly what they can expect to find on that page.

In the end, remember that a bounce rate is only one of many factors you can use to gauge your progress. But it is an important one as optimizing for a lower bounce rate can also improve your content focus, site design and even SEO.

SEO During the Website Redesign Process


In many ways, website redesign can be a lot like moving. There’s so much stuff to pack and rearrange that important things can get misplaced, lost or even left behind. And when you arrive at your new place, it can take a while for everything to be put back in it’s right place again.

If your business is ready for a new SEO web design makeover, here are 4 components that you CAN’T forget about:

1) Transferring tags and descriptions over – Sure, it’s time consuming but title/meta tags/descriptions, even alt tags for images, should reflect the content on each individual page. It’s considered bad SEO practice to have the same information reflected over and over on every page of your website.

2) 301 redirects – It may take awhile for Google to re-crawl your new site. In the meantime, your old URLS will show up in search engine page results. The most efficient way to make sure that this information is not lost is to create a 301 redirect from your old URL to new URL. This is simple for your webmaster to implement and will help preserve your search engine rankings.

3) Forgetting to link keywords – Transferring content from an old site to a new one often involves copy and pasting text. During the transfer, make sure that you don’t drop and URLS and make sure that they’re linking to the right working page.

4) Testing – Lastly, don’t forget the importance of testing before going live. This means checking links and overall usability before you go through with the complete site transfer.

Finally, even when your new website is completed it’s crucial to constantly review your SEO. The excitement of a brand new site may be overwhelming but remember that without the right SEO strategies, no one will be visiting!

Why You Need a Content Management System

Are you tired of waiting for changes to be accepted before they’re made live on your web site? A content management system can change the way you look at your website. One of the main benefits of using a CMS to maintain your site is that you don’t need any knowledge of HTML or programming to make updates. Making changes to your site is now was easy as blogging.

Features and Benefits of a CMS
Check out the search engine friendly web design we’ve created for Dr. Mike Dow. Creating or editing a new page is easy to do with the fields provided in the “backend” of the site. You can also add meta tags and descriptions that correspond to your page’s content. Need to add pictures of video? No problem.

A CMS is useful if you need to make frequent updates to your site. This means adding resource articles, blogging regularly or updating events. Did we mention that consistently adding relevant content to your site is good for SEO? With a CMS, you can go about adding content whenever and wherever you need without having to worry about interfering with the site design.

If your website does not currently have these user-friendly features, it’s time to think about a web content management system. As we’d like to think of it, out with the old static site and in with the new user-friendly CMS! Don’t forget to check out our Organic CMS for more information.

The Difference Between Web Development and Web Design

Emarketed web design and developmentYour clients have a misunderstanding between web development and web design – ever had this problem? It’s important to explain the difference between these two services because the terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

What do you think is the best way to explain web development and web design?

An Eye for Website Design
When people talk about “web design”, they often refer to the look and feel of a site. This means all the creative and visual elements of a website. In (very) broad terms, web design can be like planning out something in print. This means arranging the layout of the site and other graphic elements. To what degree that designers should know how to code is highly debatable…

Web Development Is…

Web development usually refers to the programming of a site to ensure that everything is working. This occurs in the “back end” of the site where all the content is added. Developers use script languages like PHP to make this all happen. When it comes to coding and programming, web developers take it to another level to make sure that these designs are functional. Without efficient development, the vision of your web design can’t fully be realized.

Finding Balance with Search Engine Friendly Web Design
So now that you know that web development and design have to work together, what do you get? Search engine friendly web design is when your site is fully optimized for search engines, as well as human visitors. Customers will take interest in your appealing web design while developers make sure that they find what they are looking for and that it’s working. If you think that websites have to be one or the other, you’re wrong. Read our previous post on bad website design. Some people may consider the design aspect more of an art and the development part to be more technical. What’s wrong with having both sets of skills or wearing two different “hats”? Finding a balance can be a good thing.

Check out some more discussion on what designers and developers should know about their respective fields.